Paul Merson has been taking a look at the January transfer window activity and rated the business done by Newcastle United and Sunderland.

The good news (if you believe that Merson knows what he is talking about…) is that he says that h’s so impressed with Newcastle’s signings that he would be ‘shocked’ if United were relegated now.

Giving NUFC and ‘A+’ for their signings, Paul Merson picks out the deals for Jonjo Shelvey and Andros Townsend in particular.

The former Arsenal and Middlesbrough player pointing out that both have a pedigree, have featured regularly in recent England squads and both want to get on the ball.

Something (getting on the ball) that has been in sharp contrast to many of Newcastle’s players so far this season, particularly when it comes to taking responsibility for making things happen.

As for Newcastle’s neighbours, Paul Merson only rates Sunderland’s January transfers as a ‘C’.

Referring to a tough schedule of games coming up, Merson says that Sunderland had to bring in extra defenders to try and help them to get through those games but he doubts whether they have enough goals in their attacking options, with only Jermain Defoe a reliable goalscorer.

(I have a feeling that Paul Merson might have only felt comfortable rating players that he knew about and who he gets paid to watch every week in the Premier League….as opposed to the overseas signings by clubs.)

Paul Merson talking to Sky Sports:


In: Henri Saivet – Bordeaux, £5m, Jonjo Shelvey – Swansea, £12m, Andros Townsend – Tottenham, £12m, Seydou Doumbia, CSKA Moscow, Loan

Out: Mike Williamson – Wolves, £200,000, Shane Ferguson – Millwall, Undisclosed, Florian Thauvin – Marseille, Loan, Gael Bigirimana – Coventry, Loan, Kyle Cameron – York, Loan

“They have had a right go in the transfer market and it was 100 per cent the right thing to do.

“I like what they’ve bought; Andros Townsend and Jonjo Shelvey have played in the Premier League, they’ve played international football, they always want to get on the ball and I really like that.”


In: Lamine Kone – Lorient, £5m, Dame N’Doye – Trabzonspor, Loan, Jan Kirchhoff – Bayern Munich, Undisclosed, Steve Harper – Free

Out: Steven Fletcher – Marseille, Loan, Costel Pantilimon – Watford, Undisclosed, Will Buckley – Birmingham, Loan, Danny Graham – Blackburn, Loan, Lynden Gooch – Doncaster, Loan, Charis Mavrias – Fortuna Dusseldorf, Loan, Sebastian Coates – Sporting Lisbon, Loan

“This is a hard one but you can’t doubt Sam Allardyce because he does his homework.

“He’s got to bring defenders in who are going to keep them in touch for the next five games because their next five fixtures are a joke.

“Then after that, when they’ve got to win games, are they going to have enough to win them because they haven’t bought strikers?

“It could go horribly wrong. If they do get draws and a few points in the hard games then they’ve got to go and win games and I don’t think he’s got the firepower to win them, apart from Jermain Defoe.”